A deeply-flawed law promoted by Andrews’ Labor Government, Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act (CSCPPA), passed on Thursday 4 February in the state of Victoria criminalises attempts to change/suppress a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

It may punish individuals with up to 10-years jail and almost $10,000 fine, or up to $991,320 fines for corporations (eg Islamic schools).

Big Brother denies religious freedoms on issues of sexuality and gender identity, the most oppressive attack yet on established religion and parental authority in Australia.

The Act criminalises ‘nasiha’ (advice) to same-sex-attracted (SSA) Muslims to abstain from sex with the same gender, or counselling to abide by traditional gender norms for people experiencing gender dysphoria (boys believing they are girls and vice-versa).

Parents commit ‘family violence’ if they advise their gender dysphoric children to adhere to Islamic norms, or take SSA or dysphoric children for advice to a sheikh.

For conviction, the prosecution must demonstrate harm occurred to the person treated, and that the person counselling caused injury.

CSCPPA will have a chilling effect on traditional practices of Imams, counselors and parents who care for people’s best interests (maslaha) as Islamic law promotes.

Often the individual themself approaches the faith leader or medical professional for help. “Many who feel distress over their bodily sex know they aren’t really the opposite sex, and do not wish to ‘transition’ [but] to receive help.” (Anderson)

The Act unfairly allows encouragement for a child to transition, but discourages helping them return to their natal gender. “This is troubling because research showed the majority of children who go to specialist clinics because they experience gender confusion will resolve difficulties as they go through puberty if provided the right therapy.” The Act “is likely to lead to increased suicides or other self-harm if troubled youth cannot find therapeutic help they need” when they’re most vulnerable. (Freedom for Faith)

Concern increases worldwide about troubled youth who de-transition after receiving re-assignment surgery they much regretted.

CSCPPA is an untried social experiment, which will harm Victorians. CSCPPA follows similar legislation in Queensland and ACT, but the Victorian Act is extreme.

Judeo/Christian/Islamic teachings, including those about following one’s biological sex; avoiding promiscuity and premarital sexual relations, have succored humanity for 4,000 years. Now, Victorian Labor is prohibiting application of God’s guidance.

The Government Bill was clearly influenced by the 2018 LaTrobe University and Gay & Lesbian Health report, “Preventing Harm, Promoting Justice,” which provided negative, unbalanced views about religious organisations’ dealings with SSA and dysphoric individuals.

It included failed Christian conversion efforts, which however did not emphasize enough that change must come from within.

Al-Qur’an stresses: “God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran, 13:11)

The report’s imbalance is reflected in ignoring successful Muslim outcomes that ensure SSA is not translated into Islamically-proscribed ‘same-sex-encounters’. Further, the Government Inquiry leading to the Act conflated mild therapies with decades-old, long-since ceased European electric shock ‘conversion’ therapies.

Islam promotes living according to one’s ‘fitra,’ meaning ‘sound human nature’ as God created it.

God says: “[Adhere to] the fitra of Allah upon which He created people. No change should there be in Allah’s creation. That is the correct deen (life-transaction), but most people know not.” (Quran 30:30)

And: “He gives to whom He wills female [children] and to whom He wills males.” (Quran, 42:49).

The gender assigned by God at birth is part of our fitra, not to be changed.

Islam encourages people to never despair of God’s Mercy. Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “if you did not sin, Allah would replace you with people who would sin and they would [repent and] seek forgiveness from Allah and He would forgive them.” (Hadith: Muslim)

Islam encourages those entertaining LGBTQ notions to reflect on God’s gracious guidance.

LGBTQ people like other Australians deserve protection.

Data confirms a disproportionate number of LGBTQs experience poorer mental health and higher risk of suicidal behaviours. Contrastingly, research consistently shows people demonstrating greater religious behaviour, generally display better-than-average well-being.

These findings encourage a person troubled with their gender identity to act upon religious guidance.

Leading hypotheses posited for SSA development include genetic causes and parental factors, eg a parent raising a child against its natal sex. (Aardweg)

The latter cause, consequences being an involuntary unnatural state, surely allow the affected person to seek counselling towards reverting to their natural sex. The CSCPPA discourages such resolution.

LGBTQ activists claim their lifestyle is fine but other’s ‘wrongful’ view about them is harmful.

However, increased cases of depression and self-harm by LGBTQ people cannot just be claimed to result only from bullying or discrimination given such acts have been illegal for decades.

Rather, increased cases of depression and self-harm I believe result from adopting a lifestyle opposing one’s ‘fitra’.

Many Muslims traditionally vote Australian Labor. With Greens/Labor’s laws in Victoria, ACT and Queensland attacking cherished family values, should Muslims veto such parties like Christians have?

The Act is criticised  by the Australian Medical Association Victoria, Royal ANZ College of Psychiatrists, and many Christian organisations who like Muslim leaders oppose coercive conversion practices.

President Dr Rateb Jneid: AFIC plans to legally challenge the oppressive Victorian Conversion Act

President of AFIC, Australia’s peak Muslim body, Dr Rateb Jneid, said, “I pledge to work with other faith groups to mount a legal challenge to this repressive and oppressive law. We will immediately establish a legal-fighting fund to protect religious freedoms, families and children in Australia.”

Dr Jneid tells me of an exchange (which I viewed) between an LGBTQ activist and AFIC following AFIC’s statement. After having explained the extreme scope of the CSCPPA to him, the activist (whose identity remains private) changed his view and expressed respect to AFIC in taking such a principled stand.

I don’t write this article to criticise the LGBTQ community, but an extreme law that threatens all our children.

The law appears to disallow a person’s right to choose help to revert. Is the Victorian government making conversion to LGBTQ status a one-way street?

Some Muslims informed me that notwithstanding Labor’s traditional social justice positions, faith communities are better served by the LNP provided they take sound positions against such extreme laws.

[This article is not professional legal advice]